Public Lands Stewards: Last Week at Camp

by | Land Stewards


By this point in the summer, I think I have a good grasp of how the flow of each day goes. Wake up, get ready for camp, drink a lot of tea, set out materials, wait for the shuttle to show up with the kids. However, for my last week of camp I actually had an overnight MacGyver camp, which meant that our campers were engineering/making gondolas to use on a zip line. The object of their challenge is to shuttle an endangered species, (stuffed animal) across Trout Lake Creek safely to the other side. I was immediately impressed by how smart the kids were, already asking so many good questions and throwing themselves into the challenge head on.

I had worked at overnight camps before so I was really looking forward to doing activities that the day campers never got to do. The kids helped me bake really misshapen pancakes in the morning, they helped cook every meal and dessert too. Before lights out in the bunks, me and the girls did typical camp things like building forts and making friendship bracelets, it was pretty classic. I even talked them into doing a mini “campout” under the stars in the field.

I wish that I had gone to this camp as a kid. It seemed really empowering to them to be able to come up with their own ideas and test things out, change if they had to, work together, and actually build functional containers. They even got to do some programming songs and measured the speed and tilt of the shuttles. They built scales and gained some confidence using power tools. I think I would have really enjoyed being trusted with that amount of creativity and problem solving on my own.

It was a great balance of typical camp fun and engineering. I had fun leaning into the overnight camp schedule, playing really intense kickball and playing in the creek. It was a good way to end the summer, and I can’t believe how fast it all flew by. It seemed like yesterday that the camp season started.